TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Palm Inc. and BlackBerry Maker Will Sign a Licensing Agreement

Palm Inc. and BlackBerry Maker Will Sign a Licensing Agreement

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 17 Oct 2005 02:06:47 -0400


SAN FRANCISO, Oct. 16 - Palm Inc., maker of the Treo smartphone, and
its rival Research In Motion, the maker of the wireless BlackBerry
device, are expected to announce on Monday a licensing agreement that
could alter competition in the market for phones that offer e-mail and
other functions, one of the fastest-growing segments of the cellphone

As part of a broad strategy to become a software company as well as a
device maker, Research In Motion, or R.I.M., will allow Treos to use
its e-mail and communications technology, called BlackBerry Connect.

The deal is significant because it gives Palm, a 10-year-old Silicon
Valley company, a greater opportunity to sell Treos to corporations
that have spent substantial sums outfitting their workers with
BlackBerrys, which are still big sellers among business users.

Treo has gained momentum in the corporate market because thousands of
business software programs can run on its devices. Over the last
several months, some cellphone makers, like Nokia and Sony Ericsson,
have also licensed BlackBerry Connect, but they have only recently
started promoting that service.

For R.I.M., the deal with Palm takes the company further down the
strategic path it announced more than two years ago, after it became
clear that the company needed to reinvent itself if it wanted to
maintain its growth rate.

While R.I.M. continues to sign up new subscribers -- in its last
quarter it added 620,000 accounts, for a total of 3.65 million, its
growth is starting to slow.

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